Steve Jobs is like an abusive, alcoholic stepfather. He promised me he’d take me to the zoo. Instead he just punched me in the face. “It’ll build character,” he said. Thanks, “dad”.
This talk about the “Apple Tablet” that has been going on for months has had me digging through blogs for months, desperately trying to figure out anything I could about this mysterious device. The promise was the world, and then my proverbial ice cream cone fell into the dirt. Now I don’t want to be one of these people, forever on the record for saying something entirely stupid about a device that changed the world, but I don’t see the value of the iPad for someone like me. However, I do think that it can be a game changer.
What I hate about the iPad
Let’s not even bother talking about the the technical deficiencies of the iPad for a second. Let’s just start with the name. iPad. I honestly didn’t make the tampon connection until I saw it as a trending topic on Twitter. The problem is that 4 years ago, MadTV did a wholly inappropriate sketch involving feminine products and electronics and called it “the iPad”. C’mon, Apple! They did that in 2006. It was a throwaway sketch on a show nobody cares about, but now everyone has seen it. There are a million things that they could’ve called it, but they opted for “iPad” and every woman on earth cringed.
*Tangent. The “i” thing is getting old. If you want me to believe you’re truly innovative, don’t name something what it is with a lower-case “i” in front of it.
Now for the technical boo-hoo’s. There a few things that I really thought were an oversight, mostly that there is no USB connectivity, no camera of any kind and few creative programs (so far). I have a hard time wanting to use a tablet that doesn’t run Snow Leopard. And, despite the simplicity of it all, I really don’t love the iPhone OS.
Data exclusivity from AT&T is also a downer for me, because I believe- very rationally- that AT&T is owned and operated by the Devil.
Why I haven’t given up on the iPad yet
I originally had distaste for the iPad because of the fact that it was a device for consuming, not creating. It’s for people who, for whatever reason, still don’t use computers in the year 2010. My grandfather is an avid iPod user at age 85. The UI is simple and the touchscreen is very intuitive. Anyone can use it. And for a world that is online and doesn’t understand terminology like secure VPN or IPv4 or know how to accurately set up a router (and these aren’t complicated things, either) the iPad is greatest thing that could ever happen for them. It’s the Jitterbug phone of personal computing. If you are a person who uses a computer to surf the web, send email, store photos, listen to music, watch videos (i.e. anyone who uses a computer these days) you don’t need my 3.06 GHz processor.
People don’t need huge processors or drives to do what they do on a computer. A lot of us do. But my grandpa doesn’t. Neither do half of the people I associate with on a daily basis. We don’t need 2 terabyte hard drives or 16 GB of RAM anymore. For what we do at home, we need a processor capable of running an internet browser and enough storage for music and some movies. Not much else.
The Bottom Line about the iPad
Am I going to get an iPad? Maybe. Probably not until 2.0 comes out. But it’s a great idea. I like the idea of having a computer that feels like a book or magazine and runs facebook, twitter, YouTube and all the other sites I frequent. I dislike that I can’t use Skype or iChat. I won’t be buying one for a while, but right now, it’s perfect for Grandpa.